At only 18 years old, Jake Kershaw, has accomplished more than some twice his age. He has had the privilege of playing with great performers such as Jonny Lang, Anthony Gomes, Larry McCray, Albert Cummings, Walter Trout, and has opened 2x for Kenny Wayne Shepherd , Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Bernard Allison, Marcus King, Samantha Fish and Tab Benoit. Jake recorded and released his first album, Piece of My Mind, in the summer of 2017 when he was just 16 years old. Earlier that year he was honored with his first endorsement from Heritage Guitars as a Young Artist. He has since been endorsed by companies such as Lizard Spit, JobeTone pickups, Apex strings, and Medina Made straps. Jake has also won a “Jammie award from Western Michigan’s WYCE radio for “Listener’s Choice Best Album by a New Artist” and “2018 Emerging Artist of the Year.” All of this and he has maintained a 4.0 GPA taking honors and advanced placement courses, is a member of the National Honors Society (volunteering at least 50 hours a year at charitable events), Symphonic band, and marching band, in which he plays the euphonium at Marshall High School.
At the age of 9 Jake began playing the acoustic guitar. Although he wasn’t a big fan of this, at the time, he continued lessons for a few semesters. At the age of 11 he received his first electric guitar, a Fender Starcaster combo kit, as an Easter present and everything changed. He immediately bonded with the electric guitar and rarely put it down. A fire had been ignited deep within his young soul; one that continues to burn stronger every day. The guitar is the first thing that he picks up every morning and the last thing he lies down at night before he sleeps.
Jake began learning 80’s rock immediately after he received the electric guitar. He also had/has an uncanny knack for learning by ear. He quickly found that the music played by Eddie Van Halen and Angus Young were at the top of his growing “hero” list. Within a few weeks he was playing the main riffs from almost every tune they had made famous. Jake continued to play rock and roll music for the next couple of years until he was introduced, in 2013, to the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan. This was a real turning point, and Jake quickly found that the blues didn’t require him to play every song note for note. He was able to put his own touch, emotions, and spin on every song, expressing his own feelings. This new found freedom opened the door to a plethora of musicians, sounds, and feelings he could convey via the guitar. Very quickly, Jake had mastered all the songs on Stevie Ray Vaughan CD. By the fall of 2013 Jake was playing like he had been born with a guitar in his hands.
In January of 2014, Jake made his public debut in front of approximately 600 people at a blues jam/chili cook off for a charitable event at a local church. He was able to join a bassist and drummer and played a rousing version of “Empty Arms.” This was also his first time singing in public. It was an emotional event and Jake was given his first standing ovation. This event is responsible for Jake’s continued love of performing his music. It was the inspiration Jake needed to develop a band of his own.
Perhaps the most pivotal moment, thus far, came in the fall of 2015 when Jake found himself on the same stage at the State Theater in Kalamazoo, MI playing with an International star named Jonny Lang. During a “meet and greet” with Jonny before the concert, Jake was surprised with an invitation, from Jonny, to perform a song with him on stage that night. This event, because of Jonny’s kindness, has continued to be a HUGE inspiration and is the reason Jake plays his own version of Jonny Lang’s “Angel of Mercy” at almost every show. As Jake continues into his senior year of high school, he writing and playing his music at festivals and events all over Michigan. He will soon begin recording his second album with all original songs. Jake Kershaw plays as a high energy power trio and often a quartet, and performs classic blues and blues with a rock edge.